Renewed focus on women and juniors sees Hottest 7s 2023 shine

Wed, Oct 11, 2023, 5:00 AM
NT Rugby
by NT Rugby

NT Rugby will chase a record increase in women’s and junior participation at next year’s Hottest 7s in the World after the success of last weekend’s 2023 edition.

This year’s field saw double the number of women’s sides participate from 2022 with further increases across the under 14 Boys, under 16 Boys, and Youth Boys divisions.

NT Rugby CEO Nathan McDonald said this renewed focus on junior engagement was just the beginning.

“We’re still tallying up but we had at least 3000 through the gates last weekend at just a tick over 1500 per day,” McDonald said.

“That’s already up about 400 tickets from last year and it’s clear that attendance comes off the back of our increased junior participation and family-friendly activities.

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“We had a great atmosphere with our water slides and junior games drawing families through the gates, and crowd behaviour was brilliant as well with our referees noting the positive support across the weekend.

“Our women’s and junior sevens are massive areas of growth and interest for NT Rugby and we’re aiming to get at least six teams in each junior category for next year’s event, across youth boys and youth girls.”

McDonald also paid tribute to eventual men’s Croc winners Tabadamu, who celebrated their third consecutive Hottest 7s title, alongside women’s Jabiru victors Lilian Amazons and the weekend’s other champions.

“Winning the Croc division three years running is a massive achievement for Tabadamu and we’re keen to see them and the incredible Amazon and NSW Fiji Juniors back again in 2024, alongside our touring regulars like Toowoomba Grammar and Central Australian Fiji.”